Boys Don't Cry
by J.K. Hogan
Just a few weeks short of graduation, Mackenzie is evicted from his apartment, so it can be torn down to make way for a new development. He doesn't have the time, or more importantly the money, to find a decent new place; not until he graduates and starts working. His best friend Taylor drags Mackenzie to a work drinks party, where one of the coworkers, Laurent, offers him a place to stay. Laurent is the your stereotypical computer nerd: He has virtually no social skills, works non-stop for days on end, and is something of a snob. He's also obviously very rich, and Mackenzie doesn't have much choice. After all, it's only for a few weeks.
“Boys Don’t Cry” is not quite a “coming out” story as much as it's a “coming to terms” one. Mackenzie has largely ignored his sexual needs to get through college. He just assumed he was straight, and even when confronted by Laurent's attentions, he still doesn't want to admit it. Laurent does come on almost uncomfortably strong at times, but it makes for a more interesting dynamic between the two.
Laurent is a rather preposterous character; he is apparently rich enough that he really doesn't have to work, yet he spends unhealthy hours writing computer code. In many ways, he's not even very likable, but as his story unfolds, he become quite sympathetic, and while he may be to good to be true, you may still find him believable.
Mackenzie, our narrator, is a much more believable character. His situation is one you can easily imagine someone finding themselves in. His innocence is a bit odd, but once his story unfolds, it actually makes some sense and seems quite plausible. In fact, Mackenzie is an unusually well defined and well rounded character. He has a circle of friends, a brother, and a career he is building outside of the relationship he is developing with Laurent. It's all too common for characters in contemporary romance stories to seemingly exist in a bubble, where they have few friends, no visible means of support, and no life outside the relationship. “Boys Don’t Cry” is a pleasant and refreshing change from that meme.
“Boys Don’t Cry” is available from Amazon.